Here’s a side of Dolph Lundgren you probably didn’t know: He’s a war history buff. So, that makes War Pigs, the new World War II film he stars in with Mickey Rourke and Luke Goss, right up his alley. (Watch the film’s exclusive trailer above!)
Lundgren spoke with Yahoo Movies about the action movie (in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on Aug. 15), involving a group of soldiers sent behind enemy lines to uncover a Nazi super-weapon. The 57-year-old blond, buff, and tan actor revealed a bawdy behind-the-scenes tale involving longtime pal and co-star Rourke, discussed another war movie he’s hoping to direct, dished on filming the Coen brothers movie Hail Caesar! with Channing Tatum, and broke down his new approach to working out.
What drew you to War Pigs?
It was a World War II picture and I hadn’t done one of those ever. I liked the character a lot because he was interesting — half-French half-German, living on the German border but fighting for the Allies.
How was it to work with Mickey Rourke again?
We were in the first Expendables. We didn’t have any scenes together but we were on the set together. I know him mostly from the ‘80s way back.
Any fun stories?
Oh god. Well, let’s see. From the '80s I just remember we used to go out to the Roxbury [in Hollywood] back then together.
In this movie, he’s this interesting, colorful, flamboyant colonel — like George Patton on steroids. He’s bigger than Patton and has better hats, a better scarf. In a scene together we did on the first take — I play this guy [Captain] Hans Picault. [Rourke]’s giving me and Luke Goss, who plays this American lieutenant, orders on how to go after this German gun. So after his normal dialogue, he says, “Oh Hans, what was the name of that little French girl you used to bang down in Marseille?” It wasn’t in the script. I say [in character, French accent], “Oooh, I’m sorry, I can’t remember.” At the end of the scene, I say, “I think her name is Marie Louise.” [Laughs] He’s like, “OK, great. Dismissed.” So, that was our first ad lib together. I don’t know if they used the word “bang” back in 1944 but I guess he did.
Did that make it into the film?
You have 10 films set to come out within the next year, including the Coen brothers’ Hail Caesar! Is this the busiest your acting career has been?
I do these smaller roles. I find something I want to do that’s a smaller picture and I don’t have to produce or carry the movie. That’s why I have more entries on IMDb [right now]. Hail Caesar! is this really small role in a really big movie. Some of the other ones — it doesn’t have to be all action. It can just be an interesting character, stretch a little bit.
Anything else about Hail Caesar!?
It’s a smaller walk-on part. The Coens called me and wanted me to play this Russian character, and I told them I thought I’d played too many Russians already. But I read the script and it was very funny, and I understood why they wanted me for that role. It was great to work with them. I have a scene with Channing Tatum, and he was great and fun to work with. Of course, my 13-year-old daughter was shocked and excited — so I took a few selfies with him and sent them to her. It was really fun. He turned out to be a bit of a fan of my action movies. And the Coen brothers — they’re really special.
At this phase in your career, what is your focus?
Once you’ve done three Expendables movies you can’t kill more people or fire bigger guns. I’ve done that, thanks to Mr. Stallone.
I’ve got a couple of projects. I have a romantic comedy, believe it or not, that I’m working on. I haven’t signed it yet but you’ll find out [when it happens].
Working the forearms for my next romantic comedy! pic.twitter.com/TSArkHTFsl— Dolph Lundgren (@Dolph_Lundgren) July 20, 2015
I’m also producing a crime drama set in L.A. It’s a hard R. The lead character is a stripper actually. I play a Euro-trash drug dealer who lives on top of Mulholland [Drive]. It’s called Without You I’m Nothing. And then I have another picture I’m working on — it’s a World War I thriller set in 1917 Europe. It’s something I’ve wanted to direct for many years and I’m trying to get the script now. I would just play a smaller role in that. I will direct it if it happens, it’s called Nordic Light.
Your fans are passionate on Twitter, and loyal. When did you first notice it had gone to another level?
They’ve always been there since the Rocky movies. In my case there’s not a lot of guys who have been around 30 years or so still working. You gather them over the years. Social media has helped a little bit… They’re nice people. They seem to enjoy what I do. It’s almost embarrassing to read some of the stuff. I don’t read too much of it. I’m a Swedish Lutheran — you have to suffer. You’re sinners, don’t want to hear too many good things.
At 57, you’re still hitting the gym. Hard. How do you do it? Are there more aches and pains now?
Sure there are more aches and pains. You just have to take it a little bit easier. It’s hard to relax and take it easy but I have to force myself sometimes because recovery time is longer and I’m not getting ready for a fight anymore, so sometimes it’s better to workout a little less. But I still get a good workout because I’ve done it for so long. I just try to be a little more careful and watch where I put my feet. I’ll do this for the rest of my life I guess. I’m doomed!
We gathered some fan questions, too. Boris Mazel wants to know if working on War Pigs gave you ideas for Nordic Light — since they’re both war movies.
Yeah, it did a little bit. It certainly made me excited because I like the history of war. World Wars I and II are both interesting periods and I think it’s very important to get all the equipment right and all the uniforms. I’m really looking forward to Nordic Light. I’ve done a lot of research, so hopefully we’ll get that going.
Mark Russell is wondering if War Pigs has anything to do with the Black Sabbath song of the same name.
It might have. But I don’t know that because I didn’t write the script. [Laughs]